110 John Wooden Quotes to Help You Coach Yourself
Born in 1910 in Hall, Indiana, John Robert Wooden, aka the “Wizard of Westwood”, was an American basketball player and head coach, considered by many a legend and the greatest basketball coach of all time. He was named NCAA’s basketball Coach of the Year on six occasions and garnered numerous accolades and awards, including the Reagan Distinguished American Award in 1995 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003. Wooden also co-authored two books on his experience as a coach, “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court” and “Wooden on Leadership”. He died of natural causes in 2010, at the age of 99.
A graduate of Purdue University, he coached high school teams in Kentucky and Indiana before joining the Navy during WWI. After his return he was involved with the successful coaching of basketball teams, before being appointed head coach of UCLA’s team, managing an impressive number of 38 straight NCAA tournament wins, 88 consecutive victories and 10 national championships, an amazing record of accomplishment.
Wooden was one of the most successful coaches in the world of sports. A father figure, and deeply caring for his athletes, he inspired them to be winners of life than just in a game. He developed his famous Pyramid of Success, a framework to coach players on how to find their inner greatness, unleash their potential and be the best they can be. John Wooden was not only the goat of basketball coaches, but also a great life mentor with a profound influence on so many people.
Here we have curated for you the most inspirational quotes of John Wooden to share with your friends and loved ones in order to motivate them. Use them as vibey captions for your Instagram and social media posts! Ruminate upon them to ignite your inner spark and relentlessly chase your dreams for a meaningful and happy life!
Table of Contents
- Short and Powerful John Wooden Quotes
- John Wooden Quotes About Character
- John Wooden Quotes About Success, Failure, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference
- Inspirational John Wooden Quotes About Life and Happiness
- Leadership and Teamwork Quotes by John Wooden
- John Wooden’s Quotes About Family and Love
- Relatable Quotes by Coach John Wooden
Short and Powerful John Wooden Quotes
A collection of short, meaningful quotes by John Wooden that will inspire you to give it your all and never give up on your dreams!
- Make each day your masterpiece. Life is now. Life is not later on. John Wooden
- Don’t mistake activity with achievement. John Wooden
- Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. John Wooden
- Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them. John Wooden
- It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit. John Wooden
- Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. John Wooden
- Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. John Wooden
- Listen if you want to be heard. John Wooden
- Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time. John Wooden
- Well, if you’re true to yourself you’re going to be true to everyone else. John Wooden
- The eight laws of learning are explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition. John Wooden
- The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control John Wooden
- A mistake is valuable if you do four things with it: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it. John Wooden
- If you do enough small things right, big things can happen. John Wooden
- Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better. John Wooden
- The ability to see the good in others and the bad in ourselves is perfect vision. John Wooden
- Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress. John Wooden
- It’s not how big you are, it’s how big you play. John Wooden
- Never lie; never cheat; never steal. Don’t whine; don’t complain; don’t make excuses. John Wooden
- There is nothing stronger than gentleness. John Wooden
- Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn and improve. John Wooden
- Be quick, but don’t hurry. John Wooden
- Be prepared and be honest. John Wooden
- Respect every opponent, but fear none. John Wooden
- What is right is more important than who is right. John Wooden
- It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden
- Perfection is impossibility but striving for perfection is not. Do the best you can. That is what counts. John Wooden
- Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story. John Wooden
- Young people need models, not critics. John Wooden
- You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes. John Wooden
- 1. Be on time. 2. Never criticize a teammate. 3. Never use profanity. John Wooden
- Sincerity may not help us make friends, but it will help us keep them. John Wooden
- It isn’t about what you do, but how you do it. John Wooden
- Show me what you can do; don’t tell me what you can do. John Wooden
- Just do the best you can. No one can do more than that. John Wooden
- Flexibility is the key to stability. John Wooden
- Never try to be better than somebody else. But most importantly, never cease trying to be the best you can be. John Woode
- If you stay intent and your ability warrants it, you will eventually reach the top of the mountain. John Wooden
- If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes. John Wooden
- We can agree to disagree, but we don’t need to be disagreeable. John Wooden
- It is important for us to see that our mentors are human and therefore fallible; it makes our own shortcomings more tenable. John Wooden
- We are many, but are we much? John Wooden
- Good values are like a magnet – they attract good people. John Wooden
- If you stay intent and your ability warrants it, you will eventually reach the top of the mountain. John Wooden
- If I am through learning, I am through. John Wooden
John Wooden Quotes About Character
To John Wooden integrity and character were the foundations for a successful life. Through consistent adherence to moral values you establish character and that is what makes the man.
- The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching. John Wooden
- Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. John Wooden
- To win once you must have talent, but to win again you must have character. John Wooden
- Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. John Wooden
- I am not as good as I ought to be. I am not as good as I want to be. I am not as good as I’m going to be. But I am thankful that I am better than I used to be. John Wooden
- How hard you work at correcting your faults reveals your character. John Wooden
John Wooden Quotes About Success, Failure, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference
Success and failure are both necessary for personal growth. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and others, because every problem is a character building opportunity to become a better person.
- Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation. John Wooden
- It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. John Wooden
- Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. John Wooden
- Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you. John Wooden
- Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read. John Wooden
- Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. John Wooden
- The man who is afraid to risk failure seldom has to face success. John Wooden
- Failure is not Fatal, but Failure to CHANGE can be. John Wooden
- Remember, results aren’t the criteria for success — it’s the effort made for achievement that is most important. John Wooden
- Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick, no easy way. John Wooden
- It’s always about focusing not on the mistakes but on the lessons learned from them. John Wooden
- If you spend too much time learning the ‘tricks’ of the trade, you may not learn the trade. There are no shortcuts. If you’re working on finding a short cut, the easy way, you’re not working hard enough on the fundamentals. You may get away with it for a spell, but there is no substitute for the basics. And the first basic is good, old fashioned hard work. John Wooden
- Don’t permit fear of failure to prevent effort. We are all imperfect and will fail on occasions, but fear of failure is the greatest failure of all. John Wooden
- Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability. John Wooden
- Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort? That’s what matters. The rest of it just gets in the way. John Wooden
- The time to prepare isn’t after you have been given the opportunity. It’s long before that opportunity arises. Once the opportunity arrives, it’s too late to prepare. John Wooden
Inspirational John Wooden Quotes About Life and Happiness
A hand-picked selection of John Wooden’s quotes that provide guidance and advice on how to fully engage in life!
- You can’t live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you. John Wooden
- Happiness begins where selfishness ends. John Wooden
- Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life. John Wooden
- Be true to yourself.
Make each day your masterpiece.
Drink deeply from good books.
Make friendship a fine art.
Build a shelter against a rainy day.
Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.
- Remember this, the choices you make in life, make you. John Wooden
- Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you. John Wooden
- Dwelling in the past prevents doing something in the present. John Wooden
- Joy makes the longest journey too short. John Wooden
- If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier. John Wooden
- The goal in life is just the same as in basketball: make the effort to do the best you are capable of doing. John Wooden
Leadership and Teamwork Quotes by John Wooden
Great leaders inspire teamwork and who better for mentorship than the goat of coaches. We have combed the net in order to provide you with John Wooden’s most enlightening quotes on the subject.
- A strong leader accepts blame and gives the credit. A weak leader gives blame and accepts the credit. John Wooden
- Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights. John Wooden
- The key ingredient to stardom is the team. John Wooden
- Be more concerned with what you can do for others than what others can do for you. You’ll be surprised at the results. John Wooden
- You must be interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way. John Wooden
- A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group – that’s teamwork. John Wooden
- Make sure that team members know they are working with you, not for you. John Wooden
- There is no more powerful leadership tool than your own personal example. John Wooden
- First, do not betray yourself. Second, do not betray those you lead. John Wooden
- I believe one of the requirements of good leadership is the ability to listen – really listen – to those in your organization. An effective leader is very good at listening, and it’s difficult to listen when you are talking. John Wooden
- Work without joy is drudgery. Drudgery does not produce champions, nor does it produce great organizations. John Wooden
- Having the courage to make decisions and take action. Never be afraid to fail. You have nothing to fear if you have prepared to the best of your ability. John Wooden
- Leadership is the ability to get individuals to work together for the common good and the best possible results while at the same time letting them know they did it themselves. John Wooden
- The teams that compete at the highest level love the thrill of the contest. They may have winning in their heads, but they have a love for the effort and struggle in their hearts. John Wooden
- Knowledge is not enough to get desired results. You must have the more elusive ability to teach and to motivate. This defines a leader; if you can’t teach and you can’t motivate, you can’t lead. John Wooden
John Wooden’s Quotes About Family and Love
Family and love are the cornerstones for a happy and meaningful life. Read on and see what John Wooden says about it.
- The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. John Wooden
- Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference. John Wooden
- Next to love, balance is the most important thing. John Wooden
- Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating…too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life. John Wooden
- The worst things you can do for the ones you love are the things they could and should do for themselves. John Wooden
Relatable Quotes by Coach John Wooden
Even if you’re not an athlete, you will find the following quotes highly relatable and enlightening because John Wooden was not just a great basketball coach but a teacher of life!
- If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over? John Wooden
- Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. John Wooden
- You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. John Wooden
- Discipline yourself and others won’t need to. John Wooden
- We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes. John Wooden
- A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment. John Wooden
- Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top. John Wooden
- A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life. John Wooden
- The importance of repetition until automaticity cannot be overstated. Repetition is the key to learning. John Wooden
- Give me 100 percent. You can’t make up for a poor effort today by giving 110 percent tomorrow. You don’t have 110 percent. You only have 100 percent, and that’s what I want from you right now. John Wooden
- When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts. John Wooden
- The purpose is to help, to prevent, to correct, to improve, rather than to punish. Criticism is not meant to punish, but rather to correct something that is preventing better results. The only goal is improvement. John Wooden
- Promise yourself you will talk health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible. Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best in yourself and others. Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future. John Wooden
John Wooden, “The Coach”, was a legend and a great mentor. His teachings, extending beyond the realm of basketball, provide ways for creating winners on more than just the court. He believed that life is not a zero sum game, where one has to win and another to lose, but it is about balance. The moment you realize this, you are on the path of becoming a better person and new opportunities come to life, allowing you to feel happier and enjoy a fully involved existence!
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